75 Fading Tattoos that Will Look Great Into Old Age


Inevitably, all tattoos fade. Over time the human body will shed and grow new skin- which is usually a problem for body art. Devotees will sometimes return to have a favorite tattoo re-inked, and sometimes more than once. The following tattoos not only look amazing, but continue to do so, even while slowly disappearing.

faded tattoo ideas (29)The complexity and machine-like precision of this tattoo are truly stunning. This brilliant rendition of a mandala like design would have been exceptionally difficult to execute- an undertaking like that is no joke. A single mistake can ruin the whole design, and this indicates a rare level of commitment for both the artist and the subject.

faded tattoo ideas (30)Another piece that appears to have been done by a robot, the crisp clear lines seem to defy the capacties of human precision. This simple, but technically complicated design will not only look amazing (even as the ink fades) but its’ distinctive design can be seen even from far away.

faded tattoo ideas (1)Simple iconic bats swarm over this forearm, fading out into the distance. This spooky piece gives a clear impression of depth.

faded tattoo ideas (2)This deliberately faded spruce stays true to form. A crisp canopy at the top gets more and more dissolved the lower it gets. Black and white pointillism brings this to life.

faded tattoo ideas (3)Arm band tattoos are a common factor in many different cultures- they can be used to symbolize a variety of different ideas. Some feature designs common to the style of the culture, some are used to commemorate a dead relative, some are purely for aesthetic value.

faded tattoo ideas (4)Crisp lines make this simple arm band design pop. As the smaller parts of the tattoo fade, this will continue to look fresh.

faded tattoo ideas (5)Very smooth blending and shading make these back and arm pieces stand out. The lotus’ are drawn in a traditional style with thick lines and soft, fading shadows.

faded tattoo ideas (6)Similarly, this rose design hits a nice intersection between sharp and soft. Dark leaves contrast the lighter petals, giving this a pleasant texture.

faded tattoo ideas (7)A strong connection to coyotes or wolves informs this tattoo, as these canines are known to howl at the moon. Simple and to the point, the fade between the front and back of the wolf is smooth and well done.

faded tattoo ideas (8)Exceptional line work makes this tattoo stand out. The fineness of the lines in the petals indicates an excellent artist- the difficulty of producing such small clean lines means they had to be steady as a surgeon.

faded tattoo ideas (9)A short and sweet tattoo, taken from the classic “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make happy, when skies are gray.” The fade around the edge makes sure this will pop for years yet.

faded tattoo ideas (10)Sacred geometry anchors this symbolic tattoo. Balanced and clean, this would look good on anyone.

faded tattoo ideas (13)This is truly a unique tattoo. Thousands of individual dots and lines make up this color and smoky back piece. This really showcases the depth and texture that can be achieved through careful and deliberate work. Not for amateurs, if you are going to opt for a piece like this, make sure you use a tried and true professional.

faded tattoo ideas (14)Now this is a tattoo that you can really chew on. The instantly recognizable pixelated mushroom from the Mario Brothers gaming franchise dissolves and fades like a piece of paper where water has made the ink run. Truly impressive, the transition of textures prompts me to think about the fading of the icons in our life.

faded tattoo ideas (15)A cartographers dream! A compass, map, quill and coins set this piece firmly in the golden age of exploration, when the world hadn’t really been discovered yet. Black and white and straightforward, this shows clearly a unity of ideas and direction.

faded tattoo ideas (16)Cloudy and atmospheric, this full-arm wraparound looks fantastic. Excellent fading, clear depth all the way around. Natural scenes lend themselves to this style.

faded tattoo ideas (17)Another tattoo showing an interesting blend  of texture and style in a single icon. The top half looks crisp enough to be etched in with a laser, while the bottom half retains the original sketch lines.

faded tattoo ideas (18)This yin and yang is bright, simple and colorful, and easy to see. As the colors bleed up and down, it gives the impression of watercolor.

faded tattoo ideas (19)Sacred geometric patterns fold on top of themselves, clear and sharp towards the center of the tattoo, the fade outward. This stark design will continue to look great whether or not they get it re-inked.

faded tattoo ideas (20)A beautiful blue and black feather bleeds out ink upwards. The coloring and fading on the leaf itself are well done, and the entire piece has a liquid like texture.

faded tattoo ideas (21)This Gothic scene conjures up a very specific sentiment. The old Victorian house, the gravestones, the barren tree, the bats- the scene comes together very well. Even though the individual parts themselves are small, they are clean and well done, a nice counterpoint to the soft moon.

faded tattoo ideas (22)The tattoo in the style of a double exposure is incredible. A pure black bird frames the empty branches of a tree in negative. This is the work of a talented and capable artist- the fade on the individual feathers, the clean interior of the branches.

faded tattoo ideas (23)A cute recreation of the plants of our solar system! Although I would be willing to bet it will get old having people tell you over and over again, “Pluto is not a planet anymore.”

faded tattoo ideas (24)Henna design inspired pieces immediately pop right off the arm. These originate from ancient India, where they had a variety of meaning. The fading of color on these, especially considering the curvature of the arm and designs, is done exceptionally well.

faded tattoo ideas (25)This short simple piece on the nape seems like it has more to say: at first glance it is merely a full crisp black line fading upwards, but what does it symbolize? Interesting concept if you are attracted to the mystery of certain tattoos.

faded tattoo ideas (26)Soft pastel coloring and an absence of black lines differentiate this from common tattoos. This is evocative of the realism of oil painting, and work of this quality demands a hefty commitment- that being said- it looks great.

faded tattoo ideas (27)Over the hip, this large piece is rich in both texture and symbolism. This nicely rendered skull is wreathed in roses, showing a stark contrast between life and death. Although this looks like a work in progress, once it is complete it would be a piece you could be proud of for a long time to come.

faded tattoo ideas (28)A reference to a specific set of mountains perhaps, this small and sentimental tattoo could be a reminder of who you are and what parts of the environment symbolize where you are from.


faded tattoo ideas (31)Taking an inspiration from lace and paisley, this sprawling piece looks amazing. As far as clothing-inspired tattoos go, this is the upper end with clear and discrete detail. The person who opted for this tattoo has clear sense of style and design.

faded tattoo ideas (32)The changing of the seasons (with a sudden gust of wind) is the symbol here- simple and succinct in technique, this will age well as it fades.

faded tattoo ideas (33)The downward fade of this tattoo suits the owl subject very well. Starting with crisp and clear eyes and beak the colors and detail gradually blue lower on the arm.

faded tattoo ideas (34)A candid realistic depiction of a sunflower.

faded tattoo ideas (35)An interesting take on an arrow- the simplicity of design gives this image some depth: the sharp black lines contrast with the splashes of color.

faded tattoo ideas (36)The wooden texture of the skull gives this an interesting feeling- the atmospheric light gives the darkness of the piece a strong sense of depth.

faded tattoo ideas (37)A wet, barren tree with an exposed root structure with departing birds- there is definitely thematic elements at play here. The monochromatic image goes well with this pale complexion.

faded tattoo ideas (38)A clever play on the symbolism of the dream catcher, this is a clear and hopeful message. Keen and to the point, this will easily catch eyes.

faded tattoo ideas (39)This lush garden sleeve is dense with imagery and soft fades. Roses, lilies, a skull, angels, a regal portrait, butterflies and birds of paradise- it’s reminiscent of the rich tapestries commissioned of artists of a different era.

faded tattoo ideas (40)This soft take on feline spots will age well with time with its gentle texturing.

faded tattoo ideas (41)From what appears to be from a Russian tattoo competition, this amalgam of kaleidoscopic patterns is a lot to take in.

faded tattoo ideas (42)Short simple mountain range.

faded tattoo ideas (43)The delicacy of the individual strands of these feathers is beautifully rendered.

faded tattoo ideas (44)An excellent and interesting transition from scales to feathers give this a striking appearance.

faded tattoo ideas (45)An artist skilled in typography crafted this compass- with gentle lines and decorative feathers, this is well done.

faded tattoo ideas (46)Startlingly beautiful, these hummingbirds rendered in a colorful impressionist style make this a notable work.

faded tattoo ideas (47)

A velvety Sumatra lily on the ribs must have tickled to get, but was well worth it.

faded tattoo ideas (49)This head piece is suggestive of Bhuddist lotus mandala designs.


faded tattoo ideas (51)Subtle hints of white and a balance of light and shadow bring this from an ordinary depiction to a surprisingly realistic work of art.